Four startling developments at the 2013 Mr. Olympia prejudging:
Of course, there were shockers at Friday night’s prejudging of the 49th Mr. Olympia. After all, the O lineup is the deepest in a generation. All 20 competitors had previously won at least one pro contest, and a record six of them had previously been in a Mr. O top two, including three winners. So clearly almost anything could happen, especially around what still looks to be a very crowded and contentious top 10. As we head into tonight’s finals, let’s look at the four biggest surprises in Friday’s prejudging.
GAME OVER? More than one person mouthed “game over” as Phil Heath struck pose after pose and won over an initially reluctant crowd. Yes, he was that good. The biggest surprise of the prejudging was the fact that the showdown between the ludicrously large Kai Greene and two-time champ Heath never materialized. Heath was just too crisp, too round, too amazing. Greene was bigger but he clearly wasn’t better. With half of the points yet to be scored today, it remains to be seen if Greene can excavate enough cuts to win this game before it’s officially over.
WOLF HOWLS Dennis Wolf finally put it all together, coming in both round and crisp. His legs look substantially bigger. After finishing in the top six in five of the last six Mr. O’s but never landing in one of the elusive top three medal positions, he seems poised to finally rise to bodybuilding’s highest triumverate. Many think he deserves second.
JAY IS MORTAL The last time four-time Mr. O Jay Cutler finished lower than second was 2000, but it’s clear he’s going to do that today. Age is finally catching up to the 40-year-old. He lacks his celebrated leg and back size. Two questions remain. Will he drop out of the top six? And will he announce on stage to his hometown audience that this is his final bodybuilding contest?
CHANGING OF THE GUARD Speaking of old-timers, Cutler is not the only member of his generation who showed his age at prejudging. We can include Branch Warren, Victor Martinez, and Toney Freeman in that category. Couple that with Heath (33) and Wolf (34) at or near the top, Roelly Winklaar (36) in the shape of his life (surprise!), and the boundless potential of rookie Mamdouh Elssbiay (29) and this year marks a changing of the guard. We’ll find out tonight when the top 10 places are announced just how much things are changing.